Last Thursday, August 3rd, was the day the North Carolina House and Senate were called into special session twice. We were expecting to vote on overrides to four bills vetoed by the Governor, we found the override votes were delayed due to members not attending, and we handled several other bills in one long day.
The Governor had vetoed four bills during July: House Bill 140 – Dental Plans Provider Contracts/Transparency; HB 205 – WC for Inmates/Newsprint Employees; HB 511 – Game Nights/Nonprofit Fundraiser; and HB 576 – Allow Aerosolization of Leachate. These are significant bills to our dentists, newspapers, charitable fundraisers, and our landfill operations. We understand that the override votes will likely take place in a special session beginning August 24th.
We had to convene at 10:00 last Thursday due to a proclamation from the Governor. We had already stated in our adjournment resolution in June that we would convene in special session beginning at 12:00 noon. We hastily adjourned the first session and moved on to the noon session.
After noon we took up a variety of bills dealing with regulatory reform, environmental reform, and revenue laws changes. We also voted on House Bill 770 – Various Clarifying Changes, a far-ranging bill that contained an important provision for our schools. It places more emphasis on student growth, so that true progress can better be measured in the A – F grades assigned to schools.
Last week I found out that I had been appointed by the Speaker to the Justus – Warren Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Task Force. I have since learned that this is a national model of a task force to address heart disease and stroke and has existed since 1995. Their accomplishments are listed on their website. I suppose my own personal experience with heart issues and surgery in 2003 led to my being considered for this mission. I welcome this opportunity and look forward to serving on the distinguished 27 member task force.
The next articles I plan to write will be during the special session during the latter part of August and early September. The purpose of this session will be to draw and vote on new legislative districts as directed by the courts, as well as the veto overrides.